Footfalls at Abids book market waning

Footfalls at Abids book market waning

With the growing popularity of e-books and booklovers opting the online mode of purchasing books, the famous Sunday book market at Abids has been...

Abids: With the growing popularity of e-books and booklovers opting the online mode of purchasing books, the famous Sunday book market at Abids has been shrinking week by week.

The Sunday book market displays innumerable collection of books. Some of them are original hardcover copies of classics, a gem to a bibliophile or tinkle as children’s delight, from romantic novels to modern classics or from magazines to coffee table books everything you can think of in the world of books can be traced in this market.

A few years ago, the summer Sundays used to be teeming with public, especially children but now the market is almost dry without buyers, even during the peak hours of morning and evening. Sellers buy most of the stock of books from Mumbai. On the other hand comics, journals, and magazines are uplifted from junk stores in the city.

A book seller Mohammed Ajhaz said “summers used to be golden days for sellers and buyers alike, but this summer has been dry with reduced number of customers, from the past 13 years I have noticed a gradual decline in the number of buyers. Most of it is because of internet, but still a few readers always loved physical copies.

It’s shocking to me that even their number is also reducing. Still there are a few readers who understand the significance of original copies instead of pirated books which are sold online at cheaper prices they have been our customers for years.”

Another book seller Syed Khaja said, “I’ve been selling books since four decades and everything has changed since the age of mobile and internet. Customers come here and look at the book, pull out the phone from their pocket and search for the same book online and leave the shop without buying.”

Kajal, a customer said, “I still like physical copies of books, digital is artificial the book loses its reality the feel of page and the charm of reading. I have an e-reader but I still prefer printed copies, this market is an ideal place for people who are looking for hardcover books; they can dig a gem here. I have got the original copy of Leo Tolstoy book Anna Karenina the original hardcover published in Moscow during 1940’s for Rs 200 only!”

Another visitor to the market, Das said, “The books are sold here at cheaper prices than one can imagine, you only need keen eyes to spot the right book and you can negotiate for the price, usually I find it cheaper when compared to buying books online. Moreover, old books give me that rusty, beige, vintage look and feel.”

BY Mayank Tiwari

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